Friday, January 7, 2022

Review: When You Get The Chance

Millie knows exactly what she wants, and how to get it. She will star on Broadway one day, and the best way to get there is to go across the country to a program that turns teens into stars. The only problem is that her dad isn't convinced she needs this program. Millie decides to stage her own Mama Mia-style investigation and find the mom who abandoned her--surely her mother will support her dreams. Is her mom the dance teacher at Millie's new class, the nurturing mother who hosts get-togethers for Broadway fanatics, or the actress/receptionist at Millie's internship? Finding her mom and figuring out the next right step is going to be a lot harder than belting out an 11 o'clock number. 

Millie is a force of nature. Emma Lord has written a character who is vivacious and determined, but slowly coming to realize that her impulsive choices impact the people in her life. And it's a beautiful cast of characters we get to enjoy--Millie's nerdy dad; her aunt who makes amazing milkshakes and runs a nightclub; Millie's geocaching best friend Teddy; and the perpetual thorn in her side, school stage manager Oliver. 

One of my favorite aspects of this story was the way Emma Lord captures people doing the best that they can. Millie's dad isn't trying to hide information about her mom; he just doesn't know how to talk about the woman he loved who left Millie with him and disapeared. Millie isn't trying to be sneaky or deceitful when she hatches her latest scheme; she just imagines it's the quickest way from point A to point B. This story is a beautiful look at the ways we inadvertently hurt the people we love and the ways that we can mend those relationships.  

When You Get The Chance is flat-out charming. It's a must-read for any YA theatre lover, and reading it would be a delightful way to spend any weekend. 

When You Get The Chance
By Emma Lord
Wednesday Books January 2022
320 pages
Read via Netgalley


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